* AlternativeCharacterInterpretation: Is Mare Do Well [[ItsAllAboutMe so self-absorbed]] that she simply doesn't ''care'' about how much she's hurting Rainbow Dash by screwing with her perception of her friends, just so long as she has Dash's attention? Or does she not realize the full ''degree'' to which she's damaging her? Or is the game spinning out of control, like in Chapter 9?
* BrokenBase: Long before Mare Do Well was ever unmasked, readers became split over whether she even deserved a ''shot'' at a happy ending, or if the way she lied, deceived and manipulated her meant Dash should [[WhatTheHellHero chew her out]] and dump her once she learned her identity.
** Unsurprisingly, after TheReveal and the inevitable ShipSinking that followed, some of the readers who were hoping for MDW to be someone else were less than ecstatic.
** The ShipSinking isn't all that inevitable, though, as Dash seems to resolve to try to work things out anyway. Leading to ''another'' group of readers (such as this troper) that aren't too happy about the reveal but still hope things turn out well.
* IKnewIt: [[spoiler: A handful of readers thought Mare Do Well was Pinkie Pie. Another handful hoped otherwise.]] One group was vindicated in Chapter 20. Take a guess which one.
* MindGameShip: Between Mare Do Well and Rainbow Dash.
* TrueArtIsAngsty: [=AbsoluteAnonymous=] states in her "resignation letter" (since deleted, along with her entire [=FIMFiction=] blog, but an archive can be found [[https://web.archive.org/web/20130618055139/http://www.fimfiction.net/blog/67690/letter-of-resignation here]]) that she began writing [=MLP=] fanfiction as a way of coping with emotional issues she was going through at the time. While it is not explicitly stated that The Games We Play was the direct result, it would take a stretch to infer otherwise.
* TheWoobie: Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, and [[spoiler: Mare Do Well]] are all this at some point. Pinkie especially. To clarify:
** Rainbow Dash [[spoiler:suffers multiple injuries and is grounded a lot of the time, so she cannot turn to flight to help mentally sort things out as she usually does. She is beginning to get over her head, has a hard time sleeping, and only gets any rest at all while hiding in a bush. Furthermore, she is becoming increasingly torn between feelings she might have for Pinkie and those she is developing for the Mare Do Well.]]
** Pinkie Pie [[spoiler:feels she now has to compete for something she never thought she had to defend. She ends up confessing her feelings to Rainbow Dash, only to be shot down. Dash continually brings up the Mare Do Well when she is around and will not confide in her. She is ''desperately'' trying to win Dash's affections, but is resigned to just maintain their friendship for now. She also becomes a StepfordSmiler because she thinks her friends will stop liking her if she's not happy, but is really hurting underneath the facade.]]
** [[spoiler:The Mare Do Well is clearly in way over her head. She is pretty much [[IndyPloy making everything up as she goes]], and is pretty much reduced to asking Rainbow Dash whether what she is doing works or not. She really wants to drop the pretense and disguise, but feels that Dash will hate her for the deception. She also unintentionally gets Dash injured while trying to win her affections.]]
*** [[JerkassWoobie Jerkass Woobie]] for [[spoiler:Mare Do Well]] seems more appropriate, due to how [[spoiler:she seems obsessed with continuing the game to get the most out of it for herself, seemingly unconcerned over what it is doing to Rainbow Dash and her relationship with her friends.]]
** [[spoiler:Pinkie Pie again, after TheReveal. She essentially was a StepfordSmiler all along and only invented the Mare-Do-Well in order to escape having to act happy when she really wasn't. She also reveals that she truly has multiple distinct personalities, and ''she knows full well just how crazy she is.'' Furthermore, she's absolutely convinced that she cannot help herself and that she's broken beyond repair.]]
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